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#1 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:49 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 2nd May 2013 at 6:16 PM.
Default Tutorial: How to Change the Neighborhood Type
This is a work in progress.

This tutorial will explain how to properly change the type of a neighborhood. For example, you can change a primary neighborhood to a Business District subhood template, in order to make a megahood. Or you can change a subhood template like one of the vacation destinations to a primary neighborhood.

Note: If you are interested in creating a subhood template from scratch, check out my other tutorial:
http://www.modthesims.info/showthread.php?t=420196

The method is fairly simple and consists of the following steps:
1) Create an empty environment.
2) Turn on debug mode.
3) Copy your neighborhood or subhood into your empty debug environment.
4) Give the neighborhood folder a unique name and rename files in the folder.
5) Ensure that the empty debug environment is working correctly.
6) Change the neighborhood to the appropriate type.
7) If necessary, change the lot zoning and sim types.
8) Place the neighborhood or subhood template in the correct location.

Although I recommend the use of the AnyGameStarter and SimPE, I have tried to provide workarounds for those people who are unable to use these utilities.

Be sure to backup important files before trying this technique.

Please let me know if you have any problems with this tutorial. Feel free to comment.

Some things to consider:

- Please note that this technique will not work for neighborhoods with attached subhoods, it will only work for unattached neighborhoods and subhood templates like the ones shipped with the game.

- If you have FreeTime installed, you will have to manually disable the FreeTime stealth neighborhood to create an empty environment. The AnyGameStarter will not do this for you correctly. See post #10 for detailed instructions.

- If you try to add multiple Downtowns to a neighborhood, only sims from the first Downtown added will actually appear in your neighborhood. The game will remove the sims from all additional Downtown subhoods before those subhoods are added to your neighborhood. If you want to add multiple occupied Downtowns to the same neighborhood, you may not be able to use more than one Downtown template.

- If you just want a generic subhood, then you will probably want a Suburb. As examples, all of the stealth neighborhoods from Pets, Seasons, Bon Voyage, FreeTime, and Apartment Life are Suburbs; most Mega-Hoods are also made with Suburbs.

- If your neighborhood has occupied apartments and you want to change it to a subhood, you will have to move the sims out first. Do not have occupied apartments in a subhood template; occupied apartments will be corrupted when the subhood is added to a primary neighborhood. Unoccupied apartment buildings should have no problem.

- Sims in a subhood template will receive a new ID when a subhood is attached to a neighborhood. This can cause problems if the game doesn't properly update the ID everywhere it is used. Most of the time, the game updates the ID correctly. However, you should be aware that this problem can occur and be careful with sim relationships in subhoods.

A problem has been noticed with hired maids needing to be rehired. There may be other types of relationships which are also handled incorrectly. Be sure to test your neighborhood or subhood before sharing it.
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#2 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:50 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 2nd May 2013 at 2:41 AM.
Default Step 1: Create an Empty Environment
Create an empty environment:

This is the most crucial step in changing the neighborhood type. The ultimate goal is to ensure that no subhoods are attached to your neighborhood until the change has occurred, because the changeNeighborhoodType cheat will not work if there are any attached subhoods. If you start with a completely empty environment, then everything else is easy.

The simplest way to create an empty environment is to use the AnyGameStarter:
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=250555

Note: The AnyGameStarter will not work with Best of Business, University Life, or Fun with Pets collection packs. I believe that it also has problems with downloaded games. If you can't use the AGS, please use the manual approach documented in post #11 below, and skip the rest of this post.

1A) Run the AGS Installer (Standard) for AnyGameStarter 2.1.1.

1B) Select the option to "CREATE an AnyGame" and check all of the EPs and SPs which are currently used by the neighborhood or subhood that you want to change. Be sure to include the EP which controls the type of subhood which you wish to add as well.

1C) Select the options to Create an AnyGame and "Create empty game (no Maxis default content)". Select any other options which you want.

1D) Verify that you are creating a new game, and that the game will be empty.

1E) Once your AnyGame has been generated, run it. There should be no neighborhoods available. If there are neighborhoods displayed, something has gone wrong. Check that you have followed the steps exactly as described. If so, please let me know so that I can try to find a solution.
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#3 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:50 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 2nd May 2013 at 3:01 AM.
Default Step 2: Turn On Debug Mode
Turn on debug mode:

In order to change the neighborhood type, you must start the game in debug mode.

2) Turn debug mode on in your empty environment by creating a text file named userStartup.cheat in your save game's Config folder, containing the line:
boolProp testingCheatsEnabled true

Alternatively, extract the version from the zip file that I've attached here, and place it into your Config folder.

If you are using the AnyGameStarter, be sure that you are copying into the correct save game.
Download - please read all instructions before downloading any files!
File Type: zip userStartup.zip (166 Bytes, 175 downloads) - View custom content
Description: userStartup.cheat file to turn on debug mode.
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#4 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:50 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 2nd May 2013 at 3:02 AM.
Default Step 3: Copy the Neighborhood.
Copy the neighborhood:

3) Copy the neighborhood or subhood template into your debug save game.

Please note that a neighborhood or subhood which has even one subhood cannot be changed into any other neighborhood type.

If you are trying to change one of the shipped neighborhoods or subhoods, you can copy the neighborhood folder from your installation files. If you can't find the folder that you want, try searching your hard drive for the folder name (ie, N001). Please note that the shipped neighborhoods are known to have some corruption issues. Because of this, I would recommend that you download Tarlia's cleaned versions when available, rather than using the shipped versions.

If you are trying to change an existing neighborhood, be sure to keep a backup of the neighborhood in case something goes wrong during the process.
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#5 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:50 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 19th Jun 2013 at 12:11 AM. Reason: Link to hood # repository.
Default Step 4: Rename the Neighborhood Files
Give the new neighborhood a unique name:

If you give your neighborhood folder a unique name, there will be no possibility of it conflicting with any other neighborhood or subhood.

You should rename your neighborhood before running the game. If you do not, your installation files may be accidentally modified when you run the game. You will want to change the name of your neighborhood folder and the prefix of all files within that folder.

There are several renaming utilities which can help you to rename every file in a folder. I use Bulk Rename, but you can use any tool that you want, or even rename every file by hand. Since Bulk Rename is somewhat complicated to use, here is how I renamed all of the files in the Twikkii Island subhood (T001) to TWIK.

4.0) Rename your neighborhood folder and run Bulk Rename.

4.1) Navigate to your newly renamed folder in the pane at the top left.

4.2) In the Repl (3) section, type in the old and new prefix. I usually select Match Case to minimize the likelihood of incorrect changes.

4.3) In the checkboxes at the bottom, select Subfolders. This will tell Bulk Rename to show all files, including those in any subfolders.

4.4) In the pane at the top right, select all of the files in your neighborhood. Bulk Rename will show you the new name beside the old one. Check that the new names are correct.

4.5) Click on the Rename button.

If you want to stick with the Maxis naming convention, be sure to choose something unique. For example, the shipped colleges are U001, U002, and U003, so you might want to choose U367. The shipped Downtown is D001, so you could pick D073 or D954.

Here is the standard naming convention:
University: U###
Downtown: D###
Suburbs (Open for Business): B###
Vacation (Far East): A###
Vacation (Mountain Lake): M###
Vacation (Island): T###

Even if you don't want to stick with the Maxis naming convention, you may want to stick to a 4 character folder name, since this will make your neighborhood compatible with most of the TS2 tools. Note that the name can contain any alphabetic characters or numbers. For example, here are some of my neighborhoods: CBGM (Chibougamou), GULL (Seagull Island), and NEWH (New Haven).

If you intend to upload your neighborhood to MTS, you will want to ensure that you choose a name which is not currently in use:
http://simswiki.info/wiki.php?title...bers_Repository
Screenshots
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#6 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:50 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 2nd May 2013 at 3:05 AM.
Default Step 5: Ensure that the environment is correct.
Check that everything is OK:

Before we proceed, we'll just check that everything is OK.

5A) Run the game. If your neighborhood doesn't show up in the primary neighborhood list, you've done something wrong. Exit and try again.

5B) Select the neighborhood and ensure that it looks correct. If it doesn't, then exit the game and try again.

5C) Don't close the game yet; we'll need it for the next step. Check the neighborhood folder to see whether any subhoods have been added. If there are any subhoods in your neighborhood folder, then you aren't using an empty environment and you'll have to start over from the beginning.
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#7 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:51 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 2nd May 2013 at 3:41 AM.
Default Step 6: Change the Neighborhood Type.
Change the neighborhood type:

6) From the neighborhood view of the neighborhood that you want to change, type in the cheat (select one neighborhood type from the list):
changeNeighborhoodType [primary/university/downtown/suburb/asia/mountains/tropics]

For example, if I want to change a subhood to a primary neighborhood, I would type:
changeNeighborhoodType primary

Your neighborhood type will be changed, or the game will give you an error.

If the cheat succeeds, it might be a good idea to check the neighborhood type using SimPE <instructions required>.

If the cheat fails, check that you've done everything correctly.
- The game must have been booted in debug mode, or the game will not recognize the command.
- A neighborhood with subhoods cannot be converted to a subhood.
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#8 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:51 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 2nd May 2013 at 6:44 PM.
Default Step 7: Change Lot Zoning and Sim Types.
Change the lot zoning:

There are lot types which are specific to some neighborhood types. For example, vacation subhoods have hotels and secret lots which will not work correctly in non-vacation neighborhoods. You can change these lots so that they are the right zoning for the current neighborhood type.

For each special lot which has an inappropriate type:

7A) Edit the lot. If you cannot open a lot normally (hidden or secret lots, for example), use the loadLot * cheat to load the lot.

7B) Use the changeLotZoning * cheat to change the lot to different zoning (such as residential or community).

7C): If your subhood contains occupied apartments, this would be a good time to move the families out and into the Family Bin, or into a different residential lot.

Change the sim types:

Some subhoods have special kinds of sims. For example, a downtown subhood usually has downtownies and a vacation neighborhood has vacation locals, rather than normal townies. When you change your neighborhood type, you will want to consider whether the sims are still appropriate for the new type of neighborhood.

Please note that I'm much better with neighborhoods and lots than with sims and would be very happy to get feedback on this section. <Needs more research>

7D): Changing the Family ID should help when changing the sim type, although it may not be enough in all situations.

Here are the Family IDs:
0x7FFF = Service Sims / NPCs
0x7FFE = Townies / Dormies
0x7FFD = Orphans (Sim Adoption Pool)
0x7FFC = Downtownies
0x7FFB = Bob the Builder
0x7FFA = Pets - Strays
0x7FF9 = Pets - Orphans (Pet Adoption Pool)
0x7FF8 = Pets - Display Pets - Available
0x7FF7 = Pets - Display Pets - In Use
0x7FF6 = Seasons - Garden Club
0x7FF4 = Bon Voyage - Tourists
0x7FF3 = Bon Voyage - Asia
0x7FF2 = Bon Voyage - Mountains
0x7FF1 = Bon Voyage - Tropics
0x7FE3 = Apartment Life - Gearheads
0x7FE2 = Apartment Life - Bohemians
0x7FE1 = Apartment Life - Jocks
0x7FE0 = Apartment Life - Techies
0x7FDF = Apartment Life - Socialites

* The in-game cheats are documented here:
http://simswiki.info/wiki.php?title...p:Sims_2_Cheats
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#9 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:51 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 2nd May 2013 at 3:37 AM.
Default Step 8: Install the neighborhood or subhood
Install the neighborhood or subhood template in the correct location:

Now that you've got a neighborhood of the correct type, it's time to install it into the correct location and then cleanup.

Primary neighborhood made with the AnyGameStarter:
8A) For a primary neighborhood made with the AnyGameStarter, you can just copy the neighborhood folder and its contents to your full game Neighborhoods folder. Since your neighborhood has a unique name, it should not conflict with any of your existing neighborhoods. If you have used any of the Special Procedures to disable neighborhoods temporarily, you should be able to restore those folders now by renaming them back to their original names. You can also remove the userStartup.cheat file to turn off debug mode. Skip the rest of this post.

Primary neighborhood made without the AGS:
8B) For a primary neighborhood made with your normal game setup, there is nothing to be done. Your new neighborhood is already in your Neighborhoods folder. However, you might want to make a backup at this time. If you have used any of the Special Procedures to disable neighborhoods temporarily, you should be able to restore those folders now by renaming them back to their original names. You can also remove the userStartup.cheat file to turn off debug mode. Skip the rest of this post.

Subhood:
Your subhood is now ready to be tested. I would recommend that you do not use the same AnyGame to do your testing that you used to create your subhood. Instead, create a new (non-empty) AnyGame or test with a throw-away neighborhood in your main game.

DO NOT install your subhood into a neighborhood that you care about until you have tested that it works as expected.

8C) Copy your neighborhood folder into an appropriate NeighborhoodTemplate folder within your Program Files directory. In general, you might want to copy your neighborhood to the standard folder for the subhood type:

University:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 University\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate

Downtown:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Nightlife\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate

Suburb (also known as Shopping District or Business District):
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Open For Business\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate

Vacation Destination:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Bon Voyage\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate

However, if you used additional EPs or SPs to create your subhood, you should probably install it into the NeighborhoodTemplate folder for that EP / SP or a later one, so that the subhood will never be added to a game which can't handle it. If the NeighborhoodTemplate folder does not exist for a particular EP or SP, you can just create one.

8D) If your subhood is a university or vacation destination, then you should be able to see your subhood in the appropriate list when you run the game.

However, if you have created a Downtown or Suburb, you may run into a problem. The game displays a large button which completely covers the list of available subhoods:

You have several options to resolve this issue:

- Download my mods which will remove the two buttons:
http://www.modthesims.info/download.php?t=420924

-OR-

- You can temporarily move the shipped D001 (Downtown) or B001 (Business District) folders somewhere else. Then, your new subhood should be available to be installed by clicking on the large button. Be sure to restore the original shipped neighborhoods after you've installed your new subhood.

-OR-

- I understand that if you have three or four Downtowns available, you can actually select the last one, even though the button is almost on top of it. This should also be true for Suburbs.

8E) If you can't see your new subhood in the appropriate list, there are a number of things that you can check:

- Make sure that you are testing with your full game, or in a non-empty AnyGame. The AnyGameStarter will hide all NeighborhoodTemplate folders while you are running an empty AnyGame.

- Make sure that no subhoods were accidentally added to your standalone subhood. If there are any subhood packages in your subhood folder, then something has gone wrong with your "Empty Game" setup.

- Open the neighborhood package in the NeighborhoodTemplate folder using SimPE, and check whether the neighborhood is still classified as the expected type of subhood. If not, then the game probably found a conflict between your subhood and another neighborhood and has attempted to "fix" the problem. Check that your subhood folder has a unique name and that the (parent) Name is also unique. Be sure that you are not running a game which can see your standalone subhood (the one being created) at the same time as the subhood is installed in a NeighborhoodTemplate folder.

8F) After installing and testing your subhood, you may decide that you want to make further changes. Be sure to remove your subhood from the NeighborhoodTemplate directory before attempting to run the AnyGame and edit your neighborhood again, since the two versions may conflict with each other.

8G) Once you are happy with your subhood:
If you have used any of the Special Procedures to disable neighborhoods temporarily, you should be able to restore those folders now by renaming them back to their original names. You can also remove the userStartup.cheat file to turn off debug mode. Be sure to test your subhood one last time with the standard configuration.

Always be sure to edit your standalone subhood in an empty-game configuration. If a subhood is ever added to your standalone subhood, it will no longer work as a subhood template.
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#10 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:51 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 26th Jun 2013 at 5:26 PM.
Default How to Hide the FreeTime Stealth Neighborhood
Special Procedure for FreeTime only

If you do not have FreeTime installed, then you can ignore this post.

If you have FreeTime installed, there is a feature in the AnyGameStarter which will incorrectly handle the stealth neighborhood. You will need to do an initial step to disable the stealth neighborhood which is automatically installed when you create a new neighborhood. You must do this before creating your new neighborhood in the empty AnyGame. Basically, we rename the folder so that the game cannot find the neighborhood.

1) Find the location of the F002 folder in your installation directory. Usually, this is:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 FreeTime\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\F002
However, if you selected a custom installation, then you will have to find the location where you installed FreeTime and navigate to the NeighborhoodTemplate subfolder.

2) Rename NeighborhoodTemplate to NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth.

Note: Be sure to restore the NeighborhoodTemplate folder after you are done changing your neighborhood type.

Warning: The hobby subhood is automatically added to a primary neighborhood the first time that you open the neighborhood in the game. You must be careful not to open any neighborhoods which require the Hobbies subhood while the Hobbies subhood template is unavailable. Specifically, do not open a neighborhood while the template is unavailable unless:
A) It already contains the Hobbies subhood
or
B) You never want the Hobbies subhood added to this neighborhood (for example, a neighborhood which you intend to convert to a subhood, or a subhood which is currently being edited).
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#11 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:51 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 1st May 2013 at 9:28 PM.
Default How to Create an Empty Neighborhood Without the AnyGameStarter
Special Procedure for people who cannot use the AnyGameStarter.

If you can use the AnyGameStarter, please ignore this post. The AnyGameStarter is a much simpler approach.

If you cannot use the AnyGameStarter, then you will have to disable the creation of sims and subhoods manually. The procedure is basically the same as in post #10 above; we just temporarily rename the folders so that the game cannot find them.

1) You must disable the base game neighborhoods by renaming
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2\TSData\Res\UserData\Neighborhoods
to Neighborhoods_Original
This will prevent the game from adding the standard set of sims to your new neighborhood. If your game is not installed in the standard location, look for N001 in your installation directory and rename its parent directory.

2) You will have to disable all of your stealth neighborhoods by renaming NeighborhoodTemplate to NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth for all of the EPs which have been installed. Here are the standard locations of the stealth neighborhoods. If your games are not installed in the standard locations, look for the names of the individual stealth hoods:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Pets\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\P001
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Seasons\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\G002
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 FreeTime\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\F002
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Apartment Life\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\E002

3) Bon Voyage is a special case, since the NeighborhoodTemplate folder contains both the shipped vacation destinations and a stealth neighborhood. You can either rename the entire NeighborhoodTemplate directory to NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth, which will make your vacation destinations temporarily unavailable, or you can create a new NeighborhoodTemplate_Stealth folder and move the stealth neighborhood to that new folder temporarily. Here is the standard location of the stealth neighborhood:
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Bon Voyage\TSData\Res\NeighborhoodTemplate\V001

4) backup your save game, just in case.

5) Run the game.

6) At this point, you should be able to change your neighborhood type using the standard tutorial, starting with step 2).

Note: Be sure to restore the folder names after your empty neighborhood has been created.

If you find that sims or subhoods are being automatically added when you create the empty neighborhood, please let me know and I'll try to find a solution.
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#12 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:51 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 2nd May 2013 at 1:20 AM.
<Reserved post>
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#13 Old 1st May 2013 at 8:51 PM Last edited by Mootilda : 2nd May 2013 at 1:19 AM.
<Reserved post>
Lab Assistant
#14 Old 20th Sep 2013 at 5:33 PM
Pardon my ignorance, but with this tutorial is possible change the type of neighborhood of Twikki Island?, I want it to be a neighborhood habitable (with playable families)
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Original Poster
#15 Old 20th Sep 2013 at 9:02 PM
Yes. You should be able to change any neighborhood type to any other neighborhood type.
Lab Assistant
#16 Old 20th Sep 2013 at 9:22 PM
I refer to the EA vacation neighborhood prefabricated, which is decorated with houses and sims. Is it possible to make it a main neighborhood?
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Original Poster
#17 Old 21st Sep 2013 at 5:24 AM
Yes, you can make it a primary neighborhood. However, the hotels won't work in a primary neighborhood, so you'll probably want to change them to another type of lot. The secret lot won't work in a primary neighborhood, so you might want to delete it, or change it to a house. There will be no playable sims; the existing sims will remain vacation sims, which means that they won't show up in the primary neighborhood. Etc.
Lab Assistant
#18 Old 21st Sep 2013 at 1:00 PM
Thank you very much for the explanation Mootilda!
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Original Poster
#19 Old 21st Sep 2013 at 4:23 PM
Please let us know if you run into any other issues.

If you want, it should be possible to change the tourist families to playable families by changing their family IDs and NPC Types.
Test Subject
#20 Old 25th Aug 2014 at 12:45 AM
Okay, so since AnyGame wouldn't work in my favour (all neighborhoods being present and all), I tried creating a subhood from an existing template using this tutorial. I've follow all steps as far as loading the game in Debug made. But when I tried to implement the changeNeighborhoodType cheat, I get an error saying it cannot be attached to any subhoods. I checked that the neighborhood has no existing subhoods attached to it (which it didn't), nor does the primary hood to which I want to attach it.

Have the Sims 2 Holiday Edition (2006), all EPs, Glamour Life, Teen Style, and Happy Holiday Stuff packs installed.. Also, none of my games are downloaded.
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Original Poster
#21 Old 25th Aug 2014 at 3:19 AM
Can we see your neighborhood folder please?
Test Subject
#22 Old 17th Aug 2015 at 5:47 AM Last edited by stargurl3x3 : 17th Aug 2015 at 6:16 PM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mootilda
Yes. You should be able to change any neighborhood type to any other neighborhood type.


Thank you so much for this tutorial. Unfortunately, I'm having the same problem as Focalor. When trying to actually change the neighborhood type, the error message says I already have subhoods created. I used the alternative method (not AGS) to disable subhoods and sims.

I think I know how the problem is happening but I don't know how to stop it. When I load the neighborhood it creates Pets and creates Weather. But I thought I had disabled those folders so that, that wouldn't happen. When I look into the neighborhood folder it shows suburb 001 and 002 for Pets and Weather, and of course you can't delete them while the game is running.

Is there a fix for this?
Alchemist
#23 Old 27th Dec 2015 at 11:43 AM
@stargurl3x3
You're supposed to rename the NeighborhoodTemplate folder, not the folders inside that folder.

So, you'll have to go to

C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Pets\TSData\Res
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Seasons\TSData\Res
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Bon Voyage\TSData\Res
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 FreeTime\TSData\Res
C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2 Apartment Life\TSData\Res

and rename the 'NeighborhoodTemplate' folder to something else. (For instance NeighborhoodTemplateDisabled).
After that you'll have to go to

C:\Program Files\EA GAMES\The Sims 2\TSData\Res\UserData

and rename the 'Neighborhoods' folder to something else. (For instance NeighborhoodsDisabled).

Then it won't add the subhoods to your neighborhood and you should be able to change the neighborhood type.

Hood Building Group neighborhoods are available here
Clean and Empty Steatlh Hoods
Winter Wonderland is available here
My Simblr
My 2015 Yearbook Entry
Test Subject
#24 Old 9th Feb 2017 at 4:21 AM
I know that this is off topic but I'm not able to post and I'm trying to build a hotel and I can't change the lot to hotel even with the changelotzoning cheat. Someone please help!
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